We kick off this week’s newsletter with an article about the Chinese city of Yiwu, introducing a database that lets people getting married check if their partner has any history of domestic violence or abuse. The next piece by MIT Technology Review discusses how publicly available data is aiding governments to chart a course through the pandemic and towards economic recovery. The following article talks about the use of satellite imagery is helping hedge funds make more calculated bets and outperform. Next, we cover a controversial facial-recognition program that predicts criminality and has been debunked by critics as racial. Then, we have an article on what data tells us about the state of human rights in 203 countries, as per the Human Rights Measurement Initiative. Lastly, we have a story on how a TikTok prank likely flopped President Donald Trump’s rally in Oklahoma and even flooded his campaign with bad data.
Chinese City to Let People Search Their Partner’s Domestic Violence History Before Marriage
The Covid19 pandemic has led to an uptick in domestic violence, especially against women, as people are stuck inside homes, increasingly frustrated with nowhere else to go. This uptick has led the city of Yiwu in eastern China to attempt to solve the problem by creating a searchable domestic violence database that lets people check their partner’s history of violence before getting married.
Pandenomics: How open data is guiding public policy
Generals always fight the last war, runs the military aphorism. Politicians have also drawn heavily from battlefield lexicon in framing the fight against covid-19, but they too are at risk of leaning on outdated concepts and responses based on past crises that bear limited resemblance to the pandemic.
How Satellite Imagery Is Helping Hedge Funds Outperform
At the beginning of the last decade, Swiss investment firm UBS Investment Research began partnering with satellite companies such as Remote Sensing Metrics LLC in order to gauge changes in the occupancy rates of parking lots belonging to Walmart.
An Algorithm That ‘Predicts’ Criminality Based on a Face Sparks a Furor
In early May, a press release from Harrisburg University claimed that two professors and a graduate student had developed a facial-recognition program that could predict whether someone would be a criminal. The release said the paper would be published in a collection by Springer Nature, a big academic publisher.
What data tells us about the state of human rights
The recently launched Human Rights Measurement Initiative looks into 2019 data, providing publicly comparable insights on how 203 countries are improving or sliding in ratings against human rights indicators.
TikTok fans and K-pop stans deluge Trump campaign with bad data
President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend attracted fewer than the expected number of attendees. Concerns about COVID-19 likely kept some people at home, but TikTok users and online fans of K-pop are giving themselves some credit, too.